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Thailand Open: Praneeth in final, Saina falters

Thailand Open: Praneeth in final, Saina falters

India's B Sai Praneeth has entered the Men's Singles final of the Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament. He will next face either Indonesia's Panji Ahmad Maulana or ninth seeded Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain.

However, it turned out to be a dismal day for other Indians with P Kashyap, Shreyansh Jaiswal and Subhankar Dey bowing out of the men's singles competition, while Rituparna Das, Reshma Karthik, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, Sali Rane and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde faltered in the opening round of women's singles.

Yet another comfortable victory for the Indian as he defeated local shuttler Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-16, 21-17. Christie beat Malaysia's Joo Ven Soong 21-9 21-18 in his semis match. London Olympic bronze medallist Saina, however, had to bite the dust as she lost in straight games to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan 19-21 18-21 in 53 minutes. Even though Suzuki showed some grit towards the end of the game, winning four points in a row, it was never going to be enough as Saina rounded up the first game 21-15.

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Saina made her task hard by committing a large number of unforced errors in the second game of her match.

However, Thongnuam fought back in the second game to take an early 6-3 lead. The Thai tried to stage a fightback in the second game but Praneeth was equal to the task, quickly reducing a three-point deficit.

Thongnuam closed the gap at 10-all and it remained a tight contest till 14-15 when Sai Praneeth won the next seven points to clinch the match and extend his career record to 2-0 against the World No.71. However, Saina came back strongly to win the next two points, before levelling the game at 5-5.


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